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  • #991845
    VikkiB
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Hi
    I am looking into setting up my new website. I’m not completely computer illiterate and have created a site from a template before.
    This new one is an ecommerce one which I am new at.

    I am tossing up going with a developer for under $5,000 (aud) or using shopify.
    What are the benefits to using a web developer? Particularly against a proven and well established solution.

    Thank you. And I have to say I’ve only stumbled across this site today but plan to come on often, such a wealth of knowledge

    #1183654
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi VikkiB,

    Welcome aboard :)

    I’m sure our resident experts will jump on shortly with some advice for you, but in the meantime, we’ve had a few chats about Shopify around here lately, so try entering that into the Forum search (below the green bar at the top of the forum) and you might find some helpful insights.

    Best of luck for your new venture,
    Jayne

    #1183655
    VikkiB
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    Thanks Jayne

    I did look a little. I found lots of helpful info on that vs other template type sits, but on that look I couldn’t find vs a developer. But I probably didn’t tey right keywords, I’ll keep trying. Thanks again. I look forward to learning heaps and hopefully helping someone (although that might be a short while of yet)

    #1183656
    JohnTranter
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    • Total posts: 842
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    Hey Vikki,

    You might be asking the wrong question, there’s lot of professional web developers that create ecommerce websites using Shopify for example. It’s not really an either/or situation.

    You could be asking “Should I use Shopify?” and “Should I use a web developer to set up my site?” There’s plenty of threads on this site for both of those questions.

    cheers

    John

    #1183657
    VikkiB
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Thanks For your time John, good point, I didn’t think of it that way – so much to learn I’ll search using those as well. Thanks.

    #1183658
    VikkiB
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    Or maybe I can ask, what can a web develop working directly with me do extra to warrant the larger upfront fee that I can’t from shopify? Is Shopify’s links, metadata etc sufficient enough? I’m assuming it must be quite up there, but I did come across a couple of comments, either on here or another forum, that theirs are not great.

    #1183659
    LucasArthur
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    Hi Vikki

    Maybe pick up the phone and chat to one of our regulars, there are a few, as it is amazing the depth of information you will get from a phone call as opposed to a forum (back and forth much quicker) and easier to establish your existing understanding.

    So many platforms, so many opportunities and so many people skilled at what they do that an open question that you pose can have many personal inputs along with varying levels of preferences and experience from each developer :(

    I still think Johns post and question would be the best way to establish the answers you seek in a more answerable method.. And without knowing much more about your specific requirements recommendations become difficult.

    All platforms have there advantages.. but if you want control of your space, you may need to opt for a more open eCommerce platform and if you are computer literate as you inferred maybe even considering options like WooCommerce or other similar may be of interest and you can avoid the $5k anyways.. Or even spend $1-2kish with a great FS regular for a WooCommerce custom design, its not always $5k :)

    Good luck and most of this has been answered before in the forums as Jayne mentions, probably more than once a week.. LOL

    Cheers and welcome
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1183660
    Greg_M
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    • Total posts: 1,691
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    One thing an experienced Shopify developer can do, is alter the website to suit your needs without breaking it, or write addon’s that will work.

    Same usually applies to the other big ecommerce platforms.

    They’ll let you do just so much … beyond that you need the right skill-set.

    From memory Shopify runs a list of certified developers you can contact, or maybe check out pricing.

    #1183661
    Tiggerito
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    • Total posts: 362
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    All developers will start from one platform or another and customise it to your desires. Which platform they use can make a big difference on price and flexibility. And it does not necessarily equate to good value for you. Some developers start from the ground up which can mean a very expensive, buggy, insecure, feature poor and late system. Others will use a well established platform so they can quickly deliver a feature rich and stable product.

    Make sure you know what your developer will be working from and if that platform will suit your needs. The good established platforms that often come up are Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Magento.

    #1183662
    DaveN
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    • Total posts: 37
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    Hi Vikki, have a look in this thread and Khai’s response from someone who has been using Shopify. Was very helpful for me.

    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/index.php?threads/building-a-website-whats-the-cost.33334/page-3#post-212866

    #1183663
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
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    VikkiB, post: 214422, member: 67704 wrote:
    Hi
    I am looking into setting up my new website. I’m not completely computer illiterate and have created a site from a template before.
    This new one is an ecommerce one which I am new at.

    I am tossing up going with a developer for under $5,000 (aud) or using shopify.
    What are the benefits to using a web developer? Particularly against a proven and well established solution.

    Thank you. And I have to say I’ve only stumbled across this site today but plan to come on often, such a wealth of knowledge
    Hello VikkiB,

    There are really three different options and each has its own pros and cons:

    Use a hosted ecommerce service and do it yourself (DIY):
    Most hosted systems are built for DIY. So you basically pick a plan and sign up (or do a free trial) and then start to build your site with the tools provided. Typically that means:

    • selecting a theme to create your design,
    • adding contact details,
    • building categories and content,
    • creating products and assigning to categories,
    • add delivery methods,
    • add payment methods
    • add legal stuff (T&Cs, Privacy, Returns etc),
    • check all the settings
    • test the site and checkout

    Skills required are generally basic, no HTML needed, be able to manage photos, if you can use Word and Excel you OK. We provide a wizard and a first steps guide but each system does it a little differently.

    Cost for an average site: basically your time and package costs.
    Package costs: $50 – $200 / month (includes hosting)
    Cost of maintenance: included in service fees
    Cost of upgrades: includes in service fees

    Use a hosted ecommerce solution and get a professional to build:

    This means that you will ask the service provider for a recommended partner who can design and build the site. Service providers generally have some certification process and will be able to provide a few suggestions. The services providers will also have build services as we do.

    The benefit is that you will get the job done faster (generally) and it should be more professional. If you get the right person they will agree a set of terms and costs with you (never agree to an open ended project). Local sole traders and companies are covered by local laws that offer you some protection.

    You provide the content.

    Cost for an average site: $1,200 – $5,000 plus package costs
    Package costs: $50 – $200 / month (includes hosting)
    Cost of maintenance: included in service fees
    Cost of upgrades: includes in service fees

    Get a developer to create the site – they select the technology:

    Lots of developers will offer to build a site. This generally means that they take some open source software like WordPress / Woocommerce or Opencart or similar. Then they do all the stuff as in the first option that is they build a site. They will also choose a hosting (generally shared) provider. They will get the site up an running, maybe do some training and then its over to you.

    If you offshore it can be cheaper but you have little or no control.

    You need to find a developer that you can meet and speak to always ask for some local references. This option is good if you want to form a relationship for the long term. Look for a sole trader or company with some credentials and professional indemnity insurance if possible.

    It is a terrible solution if you are just trying to find the cheapest option.

    Ongoing content maintenance has to be done by you or you pay them to do it for you.

    If you have some technical capability this can be a good option but otherwise you need to factor in the cost of maintenance.

    Cost to build average site: $5,000 – $10,000
    Cost for hosting: $20 – $50 / month
    Cost of maintenance: half the build cost annually
    Cost of upgrades: maybe not possible or could be a rebuild depends on the software

    I think that pretty much sums it up.

    John

    #1183664
    Hatching_It
    Member
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    VikkiB, post: 214422, member: 67704 wrote:
    I am tossing up going with a developer for under $5,000 (aud) or using shopify.

    Hi VikkiB,

    What do you expect for your $5000?

    A website designed?
    A website built?
    ‘X’ Number of categories/products setup?
    A marketing plan?
    Graphic Design?
    Product Photography?
    Social profiles?
    Targeted written content?

    You could spend $5000 with a web designer who then struggles to put that nice design in to a clean and functional website that helps a visitor buy from you.

    You could spend $5000 with a web developer that has a nicely coded website with average stock photos and is easy for a visitor to get through, but no plan forward for actually getting people to it.

    You could spend $5000 with a consultant that puts together a marketing plan including keywords/phrases to focus on and a social engagement plan whilst building your own templated Shopify store.

    What I’m getting at is there’s lots of different ways to spend $5000 on a website/online presence. And there are lot’s of people out there charging that much that don’t really know what they’re doing unfortunately..

    With that said, it’s not all bleak as there are a lot of very honest people on here that will help you figure out what you need and there are also people who can say honestly whether they can do it for you or not.

    Good luck :)

    Maclean

    #1183665
    daniel.nicotra
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Vikki

    There are heaps of great insight on this thread, I’m sure you’ve got this one covered now. Without bombarding you with too much more information just thought i’d add my 2 cents worth. Parking the shopify and web developer component for a moment try frame your thinking with your ecommerce website around the essence of a few key elements and questions to ask yourself like:

    • Why you are in the business your in and link that to how do you want your ecommerce website to be perceived.
    • What/how do you want your customers to feel when they engage with your business and subsequently with your ecommerce site.

    Effectively think about your customer experience above everything else first and consider every touchpoint and process flow from the external ecommerce site to the relationship with third-parties and internally to you (business).

    Why I say this is sometimes whilst web developers deliver fantastic results often they can take a technically focused view. It’s important you set clear business objectives (customer experience) that you want achieved and then have them translated to the web (ecommerce) components.

    Hope this makes some sense. All the best with your new journey :)

    Daniel

    #1183666
    VikkiB
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    Thank you everyone. It really is very helpful, and so much appreciated! It’s all a tad over my head right now, I’m going to read through everyone’s comments and really try to understand and make a decision. Thank you again!

    #1183667
    bluepenguin
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    Both options are good, but you could always start out with Shopify on a smallish monthly plan, and then decide later if you’d prefer to spend $5,000 on something else. It wouldn’t work out so favourably the other way around.

    Just keep in mind that depending on your web developer, it’s quite possible that $5,000 can quickly grow into something much more, and there’s always the risk that you could end up with a dodgy web developer if you’re not careful.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of Shopify and think it’s such good value for the money, provided it’s making you money. There are plenty of add-ons available and you can customise it however you want, If you have a problem, 99% of the time you can simply Google it and find a simple solution.

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